Application to Professional Schools

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When should I apply?

Application to a professional program typically happens the summer or fall prior to the year of matriculation. For most students, this means that they will apply the summer after their junior year or fall of their senior year. However, every student and every professional program is unique so it is always important to check with the professional programs in which you are interested and talk to your advisor and the HSPP Coordinator to determine the best timeline for your application.


Once an application cycle has opened, it is generally a good idea to apply as early in the cycle as possible. Many professional programs operate on a rolling admissions basis, which means that they start making admissions decisions as soon as they start accepting applications. In some cases, this means that they seat the majority of their class well before the actual deadline. For programs that don’t use rolling admissions, it is still a good idea to apply early so that you don’t run into any last minute problems which could prevent you from getting your application in on time.

How do I apply?

Some professional programs use a centralized application service. These centralized application services are one stop shopping – you input all of your information into a master application, hit submit, and the service will verify and send your application to all of your designated schools. However, they can also be very time consuming! Do not expect to complete your application in one sitting; in fact, it may even be a good idea to complete the application, give yourself a day or two, and then review it with fresh eyes before you submit. The table below contains some useful information about the various application services. Please contact the HSPP Coordinator or the application service if you have questions or need help completing your application.


For schools that don’t use a centralized application service, you will send your application directly to the school. In those cases, you will need to contact the school for instructions on how to apply.


Centralized Application Service Information


What does an application typically consist of?

The most common sections are:

  • Identifying/biographic information
  • This section typically includes personal, demographic, and contact information.  Some applications split this information into multiple sections.


  • Schools attended
  • You will need to list all of the high school and colleges you have attended; this includes institutions where you only took one course or attended for part of a semester.  If you received dual credit through a community college, you will need to list that community college as well. 


  • Course work
  • This is one of the more time consuming parts of the application because you have to list all of the courses you have ever taken at a college or university.  This includes courses you have repeated or from which you withdrew.  If a course is on your transcript, you must include it in this section. 


  • Work/activities/honors/awards
  • In this section, you should list places you have worked, extracurricular activities you have participated in, and pre-professional experiences such as volunteering or shadowing that you have had.  This is also where you would list any honors, awards, or scholarships you have received.  Depending on the application system, this section may be split into multiple sections.


  • Letters of evaluation/letters of recommendation
    • Almost all professional schools and programs require at least one letter of evaluation/recommendation; however, how many letters and who should write them varies considerably.  For instance, some schools require a letter from a science faculty member while others want a letter from your advisor.  Some professional programs (particularly the allied health fields such as physical therapy and occupational therapy) prefer letters from professionals in the field who know you well.  You should check with the HSPP Coordinator and/or your school(s) of choice before soliciting letters of recommendation. 
    • UT Martin offers a committee for pre-medical, pre-dental, and pre-optometry students. You can find more information about UT Martin's committee letter process below.


  • Designated schools
  • While most of the other sections will typically be found on any application (regardless of whether through a centralized service or directly to a school), this section is specific to centralized application systems (CASs).  Since CASs allow you to apply to multiple schools with one application, you will need to indicate to which schools you wish to apply.  Note: most CASs include the cost of one school designation in their fee, but charge additional fees for each additional designation. 


  • Personal statement/essay
  • This may be one of the most important parts of the application because it is the first (and, sometimes, the only) part of the application where the selection committee gets to learn about you in your own words.  You should take some time on your essay and make sure it conveys the message you want to send.  It is also a good idea to have more than one person look at it to check for misspellings, typos, confusing sentences, etc.  The HSPP Coordinator is available to help you with all stages of your personal essay.


  • Standardized test scores
  • Some professional programs require students to take a standardized test such as the MCAT, PCAT, or GRE prior to admission.  In most cases you can submit your application before receiving your scores, but most schools won’t make an admissions decision without them. 

How do I get a committee letter of evaluation?

Only students applying to dental, medical, or optometry schools will be eligible to request a committee letter. Pre-Physician Assistant, Pre-Physical Therapy, Pre-Pharmacy, and Pre-Occupational Therapy students should solicit individual letters of recommendation from faculty and professionals as required by their application systems and their school(s) of choice. All other pre-professional students should check with the HSPP Coordinator before soliciting letters of recommendation.

For more information about the Medical, Dental, and Optometry Committee process, please follow the link below.


Committee Letter Request Forms

Is there anything else I should know before I apply?

  • In most cases, you can submit your transcripts at any point, but if you’re taking a Maymester or summer class, you may want to wait until after those grades have been posted. 
  • In most cases, you can submit your application without standardized test scores or letters of recommendation. Since the HSPP Evaluation Committees may not meet until after the start of the academic school year, it is a good idea to submit your application when it is ready
  • Print out an unofficial transcript (you can do this through Banner) and use that to complete the coursework section of your application.  Since the CASs will use your official transcript to verify your application (and send your application back to you for correction if it doesn’t match your official transcript), it is in your best interest for the application to match your official transcript as closely as possible. 
  • All of the CASs have an advisor release statement.  Please check the box to release your application because it allows the HSPP Coordinator to better serve you.
  • All of the CASs have a frequently asked question page.  Make sure you check that page before contacting the CAS with a question.  You are also welcome to contact the HSPP Coordinator with any questions. 

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